June 30, 2006 Individual tiles in several sizes, as well as light-switch covers, are hand-crafted in the Ceramics studio at Arcosanti. Each tile goes through many stages. The clay is rolled out, cut, impressed with individual designs and glazed before firing. Individual tiles in several sizes, as well as light-switch covers, are hand-crafted in the Ceramics studio at Arcosanti. Each tile goes through many stages. The clay is rolled out, cut, impressed with individual designs and glazed before firing. [Photo & text: sa] Tile artist Linda Fournier has been part of the Arcosanti Urban Laboratory for over 16 years. She carefully paints glaze on parts of a tile. [Photo & text: sa] Many of the bathrooms and kitchens at Arcosanti are accented with Arcosanti tiles. Tiles and switch plates are available at the Arcosanti Gallery and Visitors Center and at the gallery at Cosanti. [Photo & text: sa]
January 16, 2008 Foundry Manager, Jim Hornberger puts the finishing touches on a Special Assembly bronze chandelier. The piece, prepared for a client based in Los Angeles, originates from the foundry at Cosanti, where it was likely poured and assembled in the late 1960s. For the restoration, Hornberger gave the chandelier a modern twist by using bells created at Arcosanti, effectively including more recent foundry artists in the new version. [Photos: sa & text: Amber Klatt] The piece, when it arrived in August, with the majority of the chain links attached and the electrical components in … sad disarray. [Photos: sa & text: Amber Klatt] Here it hangs. Amidst another day’s work by two foundry staff, Gabriel Hendrix (l) and Nile Fahmy (r). At present the piece waits for departure from beneath the canopies of the Arcosanti Foundry. [Photos: sa & text: Amber Klatt]
The Internet has connected the world’s people, companies, and governments like never before. Is it any wonder then that it’s also a major focus for politicians?In his State of the Union speech on Tuesday, President Obama once again predictably called for a new package of cybersecurity legislation.We talked last week about some of the problems with new cybersecurity legislation and suggested the issue should be left to the market. While we stand by that position, it’s clear that many of the security products currently out there don’t do their jobs as well as they should. A survey of IT professionals published last week found that the average large organization wastes an enormous amount of time and money sifting through the nearly 17,000 malware alerts each week to find the 19% that are considered reliable.On top of cybersecurity rules, the president promised to push for net neutrality rules, as the White House has been doing for the last few weeks. Unlike so many of the programs listed in last night’s speech, this one could actually happen. The insistence on using ancient Title II regulations to do it is a message to Congress: the FCC has the power to make this into law all by itself, and if a Republican congress wants to stop it, it’ll have to either sue or pass a law, attempting to hand over more power to the telcos—something that probably won’t sit well come next election cycle. No wonder Obama waited six years to touch his campaign promise on net neutrality—it’s a powerful populist weapon.Last, Obama also promised more transparency in the government’s surveillance program. Considering the federal government’s record on transparency, I’d be skeptical about that one.As television viewership of the State of the Union has fallen steadily for years, the White House tried a new tactic to reach the American people on Tuesday: it broke its own media embargo by posting the entire text of the speech online before the president even began.Maybe one day they’ll realize we’re all tuning out specifically because we already know what they’re going to say.Windows 10—Free, with Lots of Bells and WhistlesMicrosoft is beginning to create a big buzz for the forthcoming Windows 10. It helps that the company will be giving it away for free to those with Windows 7 or 8 already… but only if they act fast and adopt it within the first year after release.Bribes to upgrade aside, the company is touting some pretty cool new features for the operating system, which will run on everything from cellphones to full-fledged PCs.First, it’s bringing its own personal assistant, Cortana, to the desktop. You can bet Apple will rush out a Siri app for OS X sometime before that happens. But with the possibilities available to Microsoft with Kinect’s array microphones and cameras, the company could finally get back ahead of its shiny Silicon Valley nemesis for some time again.The company is also doing away with the dated Internet Explorer, rebuilding and rebranding it as Spartan. Whether it can slow down the enormous growth of Google’s Chrome, which has soared to the top browser spot, remains to be seen. But with Firefox now defaulting to Yahoo search and Spartan most-likely doing the same for Bing, your browser choice may soon be more dictated by your search engine choice than its own features.The desktop isn’t the only place getting some love: Windows Phone is also getting its own version of Office, as well as deep Skype integration.The company also revealed the Surface Hub, a massive 84-inch, 4k resolution touchscreen for enterprise meetings. It uses Kinect-style sensors and its massive touchscreen to try and replace the whiteboard, the conference phone, and every other meeting gadget in one shot… when it will be released and for how much are still a mystery.And last but not least, it dipped even further into the research vaults to show off its own augmented reality headset and development platform: Windows Holographic and the HoloLens.The new OS won’t hit retail availability until late this year—much longer for the aforementioned gadgets, we’d guess. However, it already seems that—unlike the timid Windows 8 release cycle—this time the company is playing for keeps.Market-Moving FinancialsEarnings season is kicking back into gear once again, with the Q4 numbers starting to trickle in. On January 20, Advanced Micro Devices (AMD) reported weak quarterly results. The chipmaker’s PC segment turned in a poor performance, despite stabilization in the PC market. AMD hopes to turn things around with its new line of Carrizo chips.In Q4, AMD’s sales totaled $1.24 billion, down from $1.59 billion in the year-ago quarter and roughly in line with the consensus. Adjusted EPS came in at $0.00, compared to $0.06 in the year-ago quarter and a penny less than the consensus. Revenue for the Computing and Graphics segment, which deals in laptop and desktop chips, was $662 million, declining from $888 million in the year-ago quarter.AMD’s turnaround plans include shoring up its position in PCs, the company’s core market. To that end, AMD is rolling out its Carrizo line of chips, which will ship in the second quarter. With Carrizo, AMD hopes to improve the battery life and performance on laptops. It’s also focusing on squeezing more graphics performance from the low-power chips—useful when playing games and watching high-resolution video.Following the report, AMD climbed over 5%.On January 15, Intel (INTC) reported a solid quarter, thanks to stabilization in the PC market and torrid growth in the data center segment. Mobile, on the other hand, was a drag on results.For Q4, Intel posted sales of $14.72 billion, up 6% from $13.8 billion in the year-ago quarter. Consensus called for sales of $14.70 billion. Adjusted EPS came in at $0.74, up 45% from $0.51 in the year-ago quarter and well ahead of the consensus of $0.66. For the full year, sales totaled $55.8 billion, compared to $52.7 billion in 2013, nearly a 6% increase. It was the first full year of revenue growth since 2011.In Q4, the company’s PC segment posted sales of $8.9 billion, up 3% from the year-ago quarter. This segment is benefiting from stabilization in the PC market, which stems from several factors, including Microsoft’s discontinuance of technical support of its Windows XP operating system, which encouraged users to upgrade to newer devices. Also, the rising popularity of hybrid tablet-laptop computers was a factor.The company’s data center segment was the main bright spot, at least in terms of growth. For Q4, revenues were $4.1 billion, up a whopping 25% from the year-ago quarter.Intel is desperately trying to make inroads into the mobile market. But revenues are heading in the wrong direction. For the quarter, mobile revenues actually totaled negative $6 million. That’s because Intel is paying subsidies to customers to take its mobile chips.On January 20, Netflix (NFLX) smashed earnings estimates and posted stellar growth, thanks to strong subscriber growth, especially overseas.In Q4, the company’s sales totaled $1.48 billion, up 26% from $1.17 billion in the year-ago quarter. Sales were roughly in line with consensus estimates. Adjusted EPS was $0.72, down 9% from $0.79 in the year-ago quarter, but well ahead of the consensus estimate of $0.44.Netflix continues to reel in loads of subscribers. For the quarter, the company added 4.33 million subscribers globally, ahead of the 4 million the company had previously forecast. International subscriber growth was especially robust, with the company adding about 2.43 million subscribers, a 40% increase from the 1.74 million added during the year-ago period. The company currently has 57.4 million subscribers globally.Netflix is making a strong push into original content, which provides a better ROI than licensed content. This year, the company will launch roughly one original series a month.On the heels of the report, Netflix soared 17%.On January 20, IBM (IBM) released financial results. In Q4, the company reported sales of $24.1 billion, slightly below the consensus estimate of 24.9 billion. Adjusted earnings per share came in at $5.81, well ahead of the consensus estimate of $5.41.For 2014, IBM’s sales were $92.9 billion, falling 7% from 99.8 billion in 2013. Adjusted earnings per share were $16.53, a 3% decrease from $16.99 in the prior year.Though the company blew away earnings estimates, share price slid over 5% in early trading. That’s because in addition to weaker than expected sales, the company issued a disappointing outlook for 2015, with midpoint guidance for earning per share at $16.13 versus consensus expectations of $16.51.Q4 marked the 11th straight sequential quarter that IBM’s sales have declined as the company fights to transition away from its traditional hardware, software, and tech services businesses to higher-margin and growth areas like cloud, security, analytics, and mobile. “We are making significant progress in our transformation, continuing to shift IBM’s business to higher value, and investing and positioning ourselves for the longer term,” says CEO Virginia Rometty.Analysts are worried, however, as they contemplate whether those new businesses can grow fast enough to keep up with deterioration of the old one. IBM’s destiny is beginning to look like a race against time.On January 20, Super Micro Computer (SMCI) posted top- and bottom-line results that smashed the Street’s estimates, thanks to strong demand for the company’s servers. For Q2 2015, Super Micro booked sales of $503 million, up a scorching 41% from $356 million in the year-ago quarter and miles ahead of the consensus estimate of $467 million. Adjusted EPS came in at $0.65, up 85% from $0.35 in the year-ago quarter and well ahead of the consensus estimate of $0.47.Super Micro makes servers, server boards, and power supplies. The company has a tight relationship with Intel, which allows it to be among the first to market products utilizing Intel’s latest chips. The close collaboration is paying off in spades, much to the dismay of server rivals such as Hewlett-Packard, Lenovo, and Dell, all of which move much slower and charge much larger margins.Despite the strong quarterlies, Super Micro shares shed 5%.Bits & BytesIf you miss the satisfaction of snapping your phone shut like the good old days, you may be in luck. Rumors indicate that LG may be working on an Android flip phone.Meanwhile, Samsung is going on its own, dropping Qualcomm chips in favor of house-built ones.Amazon’s going greener. The company recently announced that it’s working with Pattern Energy Group to construct a 150MW wind farm in Indiana to help power its data centers.In other Amazon news, the company has also recently announced plans to make movies for theaters and Prime streaming. Amazon plans to produce up to 12 movies each year as part of the new initiative; the films will become available to US Prime subscribers just four to eight weeks after they hit theaters.For how much we talk about cyberwar, cybercrime, and cybersecurity in these pages, you regular readers may be shocked to read the list of the 25 most popular passwords of 2014. Spoiler alert: “123456” and “password” topped the list once again.Not quite as intimidating as The Terminator, this military cyborg biker that was presented to Russian President Vladimir Putin makes me think that our judgment day at the hands of killer robots is still a ways off.Apple has acquired the British startup Semetric, the company behind the music analytics service Musicmetric. The acquisition could be part of Apple’s plans to rebrand and relaunch the Beats Music streaming service it shuttered in September of last year.It turns out HealthCare.gov is more than just a crappy website. According to the Associated Press, it’s also quietly sending personal health information on millions of Americans to a number of third-party websites.SpaceX just raised $1 billion in new funding in a round that was four times larger than all its other rounds combined and included Google and Fidelity. The two new investors will now own just less than 10% of the company.Of course car-hailing service company Uber is in the news again this week… this time with its announcement that the four-year old company is already 3.5 times the size of the whole taxi market in its most mature market of San Francisco.Meanwhile, Bloomberg reports that VCs pumped $48.3 billion into US startups during 2014, up 61% from 2013 and the most since the $105 billion invested in 2000.The Sony hack is back in the news again. New reports suggest that the only reason US officials were confident that North Korea was behind the attack is because the NSA has been spying on North Korea for years.Speaking of the Sony hack, Netflix will begin streaming the movie that was at the center of the controversy, The Interview, this weekend. If you’re a Netflix customer, you’ll be able to watch it for free starting Sunday.Overstock has announced plans to launch its own video streaming service to directly challenge Amazon Prime Video. The company plans to have about 30,000 titles available for on-demand service by mid-2015 and then start a streaming service with both acquired and original content by year end.Google Glass is dead, at least for now. The company said it will stop selling the current version of Glass. But Google insists this isn’t the end. The Glass team will move out of its Google X labs and into its own independent division. And according to the company “we’re continuing to build for the future, and you’ll start to see future versions of Glass when they’re ready.”Last week we reported that CNN was going to begin to use drones in its newsgathering and reporting efforts. Now the New York Times, Washington Post, and NBC are getting into the drone game as well, through a partnership with Virginia Tech to test drones for news gathering.If you’re worried that our skies will be littered with drones in no time and that privacy even on one’s own property will be a thing of the past, take solace in the fact that a team of commercial drone developers are creating a drone whose sole purpose is to seek, intercept, and destroy other drones that get too close.Facebook is trying to juice its app numbers by blocking third party apps from using the WhatsApp service it purchased last year. Maybe those ad growth numbers are slowing?Last, in a sign that despite the rapidly changing times, high-school students are still mostly the same—picking on each other, sharing dirty pictures, and rebelling from the traditions of their parents’ generation (like Facebook and Twitter)—Apple has had to ban for the second time in a matter of weeks the pseudo-anonymous chat app “After School.” The service has also proven, thankfully, less than fully anonymous: it provided data to Detroit police after a third student used it to threaten to bring guns to school, which resulted in an arrest.
Justin: So, the ingredients for a holy war have always been there? Doug: Yes. Up to about 100 years ago, Christians felt a moral obligation to convert everyone, including other misguided Christians. Now it’s mostly just the Muslims who feel that way. It’s entirely possible, even likely, we’re going to have an outright war of religion. Although, in the highly Politically Correct West, it will have to be called something else. The ongoing invasion of Europe by Muslims is one aspect of it—although that’s not so much a religious thing per se. That’s partly because the Muslims are migrating mostly for economic reasons. And because religion is a dead duck in Europe today. Europe is a post-Christian society. Very few people go to church or take Christianity seriously in Europe, it’s a very secular society. Which is a bit of a problem, because they’ve taken the State for their new god. But the State doesn’t promise anybody an afterlife. So, in my opinion, Europeans are actually ripe for conversion to Islam. It’s a serious problem, because Islam is incompatible with, and antithetical to Western Civilization. Justin: Why should the average American care about this? Doug: It’s part of the gradual destruction of Western culture. Lots of termites—including socialism, cultural Marxism, gender warfare—have been eating away at the foundations of Western Civilization for decades. Islam, in itself, isn’t a real threat. The Koran, which PC types love to treat with respect, is just poorly written medieval sci-fi. It’s living proof that humans are capable of believing absolutely anything. That said, Islam is a threat to the West because tens of millions of migrants are being invited to come and live at the expense of the current residents. Europe will collapse from within, as did Rome. The average European believes in nothing—except that his civilization not only isn’t worthy, but is actually evil. No wonder the migrants treat them with contempt. The Mohammedans—although I’ll note it’s now very un-PC to call them that—are technologically and economically backward. As long as they put the Koran at the center of their lives—and they have to, because it is the direct, incontrovertible word of Allah—they’ll remain backward. If, through an accident of geology, there wasn’t a lot of low cost oil in places they live, the West would have no reason to care what they think, say, or do. They’d be no more than an interesting tourist attraction. The good news is that, over the next 100 years, most Muslims will fall away from their primitive beliefs. But that’s another story… And a lot is going to happen in the meantime. Recommended Link These insiders are all quietly backing what The Economist calls “one of the world’s hottest investments.” Already, some of these plays have climbed an extraordinary 1,442% in 5 months… 503% in 30 days… 1,696% in 10 days. If you feel like you’ve missed out on this bull market, then watch this video. Recommended Link Justin: Doug, I know you think the European Union (EU) has been destined to fail from the start. Could religious tensions spark this inevitable crisis? Or will an economic or financial crisis be the final nail in the EU’s coffin? Doug: Religion is definitely playing into the crisis. Because you have to remember that, in continental Europe, Kosovo, Albania, and Turkey, are already Muslim, as are parts of Bulgaria. 10% of Western Europe is already Muslim. There are about 20 million Muslims in southern Russia, and that’s going to be a big problem for Moscow. There’s always blowback from running an empire, something the French and British have found as well. And Americans are discovering. Enemy sympathizers are already within the gates. London is turning into Karachi, Paris into Kinshasa, and Rome into Lagos. I wouldn’t doubt that there’s going to be a war against Islam. Even though, as I said, very few Europeans take Christianity seriously anymore. Islam, however, is much more virulent than Christianity—it’s like Christianity in the Middle Ages. Even if the average Muslim is basically “get along go along” with his religion in daily life, when push comes to shove, yeah, he takes his religion quite seriously—the way Christians did hundreds of years ago. So this is very serious. It’s a cultural war, much more than an economic or military one. And I’m afraid the West has already about lost it. It’s really tragic, because almost everything good in the world has come out of the West—in particular freedom, capitalism, individualism, science, technology, literature. Future generations will miss them. It’s sad. Justin: Doug, thank you for sharing your thoughts with us. Doug: Sure, anytime. Editor’s note: Every month, Doug shares his unique insights in The Casey Report, our flagship publication. If you sign up today, you’ll get complete access to all of our archived content, including recent essays by Doug on the Greater Depression, the migrant crisis, and technology. You’ll also receive specific, actionable advice to help you protect and grow your personal financial empire. You can sign up for a risk-free trial of The Casey Report right here. Justin’s note: Today, we have another brand-new Conversations with Casey to share with you. In the interview below, Doug Casey and I discuss holy wars in Europe. I’m not talking about the Crusades, either. I’m talking about a modern-day holy war. Some folks will think I’m crazy for even entertaining this idea. But a few weeks ago, Turkey’s foreign minister said that “wars of religion” are coming to Europe. That’s a major warning. You have to take it seriously. So, I recently sat down with Doug to discuss this matter. I hope you enjoy this conversation as much as I did. Justin: Doug, Turkey’s foreign minister recently said that “wars of religion” are coming to Europe. Do you think this could actually happen? Doug: Well, human nature hasn’t changed in many thousands of years. And religion is important to the human animal. Perhaps it’s always been something that people were prone to fight about, but the historical record shows that religious wars only started with the invention of Judaism, Christianity and Islam. Of course, these religions—which have always been at war with each other, and all other religions—are similar in that they believe in one god. Pagan religions were and are accepting of other people’s gods and beliefs. The question is, which god is the right one? Should you believe in Yahweh, or Jesus, or Allah? Because it appears to me that they’re all very different, based upon what they say and what they have their followers believe. Islam and Christianity have been duking it out since the 7th century, and that’s unlikely to change. They both claim to have the one and only true god, but they’re very different gods—not at all the same one. So it’s an irreconcilable difference. — PayPal Billionaire Peter Thiel Netscape founder (and Facebook board member) Marc Andreesen MIT White House Budget Chief Mark Mulvaney Patrick Byrne, CEO of Overstock — The White House Budget Chief is backing this investment (did Trump tell him something?) Take a look at this list: Jamie McIntyre, CEO of 21st Century Education Nassim Taleb, creator of Black Swan theory John McAfee, founder of McAfee Inc. Chamath Palihapitiya, former Facebook VP The “Deep State” HATES this stuff You see this mysterious red fluid? To Trump-haters in Congress, the media and big cities… And to the “Deep State” that’s trying to take control of America from the darkest corners of Washington… This incredible new substance is the sum of all fears. 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From Hollywood and Bollywood to the media, NGO and corporate worlds, stories about harassment and discrimination against women in the workplace have captured global attention for months. And rightly so.But what about the millions of rural women facing these injustices, who almost never make the headlines?Development agencies have struggled to find ways to help rural women overcome obstacles in male-dominated societies and to gain an education, to own land, to take out loans, to earn a living and to gain equal rights in all arenas.But what we’ve seen while conducting research in Western Nepal is that sometimes the best projects don’t lead to the best results – that a woman’s right to make decisions doesn’t always follow from the conventional measures of success like education or income.We also saw that some women gain power through unexpected pathways.The surprising stories of 3 womenWith respect to education, 26-year-old Sarita Chaudry, whom we interviewed a few weeks ago, would get high marks. She finished 12th grade and is now a first-grade teacher in Kuti village. The more advanced math skills she learned at school also enable her to handle the accounting for a women’s savings group on a volunteer basis. She is married and is a mom.But Chaudry does not lead a fully independent life. Despite earning more than her husband, she told us she can only shop for food and household goods in his company – and needs his permission to buy them. Furthermore, she does not challenge these norms but accepts them as “natural” because this is how things were for her mother.By contrast, 39-year-old Ujeli BK would seem to lack the resources that Chaudry has. She is not educated and owns only a small plot of land. She uses two initials as her last name instead of its spelled out form, which denotes her low social status as a dalit or “untouchable.” Ujeli’s husband works in India as many Nepali men do, especially in the south, because higher wages can be earned across the border. He only visits once or twice a year during the festival season.Life is tough for Ujeli, who lives in a small mud hut and has four children. She grows lentils, cauliflower, eggplant and rice, depending on the season, but has difficulty finding help to plow her land as labor is scarce. Women are not able to take on this activity as they are not taught to handle the equipment, and it is believed a woman plowing land can invoke disaster. Unable to afford her own irrigation equipment, she has to rent a pump to water her fields, but its owner lets her use it only at night.A male neighbor threatened violence against her when he wrongly suspected that she had been stealing vegetables from his land. While recounting the story, Ujeli remained calm and added that if her husband was present, her neighbor would likely not have felt emboldened to make threats against her.Despite these circumstances, Ujeli told us she has succeeded in cultivating the confidence to take on “male” responsibilities and make her own decisions. She said that even if she had no husband at all, she now feels like she could take care of herself. She developed this confidence, she remarked, because she had no alternative. She knew she had to coordinate the irrigation of her fields and perform other traditionally “male” roles or else she would not be able to provide for her family. Each new step, from beginning to drive her husband’s motorcycle to managing the irrigation equipment, gave Ujeli confidence to take on even more.Krishna Devi Chaudhary’s husband passed away years ago, while her two sons were toddlers. She entered uncharted territory, as she began managing the household and vegetable fields on her own. Like Ujeli, she struggles to gain access to the tools she needs. With limited funds, she has to bargain with her neighbors over the rental price of irrigation pumps. She carries the cauliflower and eggplant she grows on her back to local markets as she does not feel able to ride a motorcycle, which is usually a culturally taboo for women.Yet Chaudhary, now 41, told us she has found a hard-won sense of independence and authority. Knowing that the future success of her children was in her hands alone, she found courage to act outside the norms for women in her village, such as seeking out men to bargain for equipment. As further proof of this empowerment, she will attend the upcoming wedding of one of her sons, to which 500 guests have been invited. According to local tradition, the woman waits at home for the married couple to arrive, but as her husband is no longer with them, she feels she can attend in his stead.Rethinking the way to break down barriersThe experiences of these women, reflecting our survey results from 150 rural households, tell us it is time to rethink the way we assess and promote women’s empowerment. In rural areas, practical steps alone, like providing the means to bring goods to a market or to obtain equipment, cannot create lasting change as long as women remain largely unable to make decisions independently of their husbands and male family members.The first step toward empowerment is helping marginalized men and women recognize the injustices they face and realize that they have rights and choices.We and our partners in Nepal are working to improve upon the “Women’s Empowerment in Agriculture Index” – a method used widely by the Feed the Future initiative of the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) to measure progress toward gender equality in rural households. We believe that rural women’s inward determination to challenge oppressive gender norms — what we have termed their critical consciousness — is an important missing step in bringing about their empowerment.We believe that engaging men and women in the community through workshops and discussions on gender issues is a way to break down the barriers holding rural women back. We have used role playing successfully in communities to help both sexes become more aware that prevailing gender norms can be changed.”Women can work as well as men,” one male participant, Kamal Bishawkarma, told us. “That is what the training has taught me.”As the headlines teach us every day, apparent signs of progress toward gender equality are masking what can be oppressive and abusive realities for women. This is just as true in the remote farm households of Western Nepal as in the gleaming corporate offices of the industrialized world.”I make decisions. My sons listen, and they follow,” Krishna Devi Chaudhary, the 41-year-old single mom, told us. These words of authority and conviction should be the words by which women’s empowerment is measured, in any village and in any society.Floriane Clement is a social scientist with the International Water Management Institute (IWMI), which leads the CGIAR Program on Water, Land and Ecosystems (WLE). Corey O’Hara is a doctoral candidate at Tufts University, Friedman School of Nutrition Science and Policy, USA. The journal World Development recently published their findings from Western Nepal on the measurement of women’s empowerment. Copyright 2018 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.
workplace violence April 5, 2018 Fireside Chat | July 25: Three Surprising Ways to Build Your Brand Next Article Heather R. Huhman The entire country is on edge. The shootings at YouTube headquarters happened just this week.Related: YouTube Shooting Suspect Had Been Angry Over Filtering and DemonetizationPlaces that used to feel safe — from schools and churches to concert venues and workplaces — now feel anything but. In fact, the Bureau of Labor Statistics reported 500 workplace homicides in the United States in 2016, making violence the second-most-common cause of death in the workplace.Because April is Workplace Violence Awareness Month, there’s no better time than now for leaders to revisit how to handle and prevent dangerous situations. While no one can predict when a violent incident will occur at work, having the right precautions in place can help keep employees safe.Vet potential employees.The first step to avoiding workplace violence is keeping offenders out of your company. Perform thorough background checks to see if candidates have committed crimes in the past. If there are red flags or signs of violent tendencies, these people shouldn’t be hired.If a person has had (or has, while working for you) an isolated incident, leaders must make a judgment call. For example, you could require the individual to undergo anger management therapy so he or she can be a productive, rather than potentially violent, employee.Related: 12 Ways to Spot a Potentially Violent Person in the WorkplaceAlso, use the job interview as a way to assess a job candidate’s personality. Ask questions about previous terminations or gaps in employment and see how the person reacts. If innocuous questions make a person uncomfortable, he or she probably isn’t the best hiring choice.Have a clear plan, and consequences.“Even the best safety plans are only effective if they are put into practice,” Bob Folster, director of loss control services at small-business insurance company Employers in Sacramento, told me in an email. To feel safe, employees need to know what policies are in place to protect them. This means conducting drills, no matter how unlikely an event might seem. Have employees practice where they’d go or how they would react to scenarios like a robbery or shooting. After each drill, leave time for questions so employees can discuss any concerns they might have.Also, make it clear what consequences employees face if they act violently. While most companies have zero-tolerance policies about workplace violence, gray areas still exist.For example, if an enraged employee throws a stapler, but doesn’t hit anyone, is that a fireable offense? No matter how unlikely a situation may seem, make sure everyone knows what will happen as a result. That way, employees will see there are no loopholes that excuse violent behavior.Know (and share) the warning signs.After a violent incident, people often say, “I should have seen the warning signs.” While leaders aren’t expected to be violence experts, they do need to know what behaviors signal an employee who’s struggling with anger.Some warning signs, like suddenly being late for work on multiple occasions, may seem harmless. But a change like this can show an employee is struggling. Taking the time to speak with this individual can potentially keep the situation from progressing to violence.Asa Sherwood, president of Chicago-based property management company FirstService Residential Illinois, said he likes to take an “it takes a village” approach. “We encourage colleagues to keep an eye out for each other and not be afraid to say something if they see something, so that, as employers, we can address concerns before they reach a tipping point,” Sherwood said via email. Educate employees about possible warning signs so they can help keep the workplace safe. In her book, Risky Business: Managing Employee Violence in the Workplace, Lynne McClure lists the following changes as precursors to violent behavior:Not taking responsibility for one’s mistakesDistancing oneself sociallyActing out of characterLying or partaking in risky behaviorRefusing to try new thingsHelp employees speak up.Leaders can’t be everywhere all the time. This is why employees need to feel safe coming forward if they feel threatened. They need to know there’s a way they can report incidents without fear of retribution.Jay Starkman, CEO of Hollywood, Fla.-based HR solutions company Engage PEO, said he believes this should be a part of employee training. In short: Everyone needs to know what the procedure will be after a violent workplace incident. “Violent behavior is common and must be dealt with promptly, uniformly and in such a way that employees feel comfortable in their ability to work, without the threat of violence or bullying,” Starkman said in an email.Related: Managing Conflict Is Essential to SuccessIf your employees are worried about coming forward, create a company email address where employees can anonymously report incidents that have made them feel uncomfortable. Knowing about these situations can allow you as a leader to address issues before the violence escalates. 5 min read Image credit: Justin Sullivan | Getty Images Learn from renowned serial entrepreneur David Meltzer how to find your frequency in order to stand out from your competitors and build a brand that is authentic, lasting and impactful. Career and Workplace Expert; Founder and President, Come Recommended Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own. YouTube is only the latest workplace to experience violence. What are you doing to protect your workers? –shares Enroll Now for $5 Workplace Violence: How to Prepare for the Unimaginable Contributor Add to Queue
Learn how to successfully navigate family business dynamics and build businesses that excel. –shares Ride-hailing service Lyft has agreed to settle a proposed class action lawsuit in California by giving drivers additional workplace protections but without classifying them as employees, removing a major threat to its business model.The settlement agreement, filed late on Tuesday in San Francisco federal court, provides for Lyft to pay $12.25 million, as well as give drivers notice if they are to be deactivated from the platform and other benefits.Lyft and larger rival Uber face separate lawsuits brought on behalf of drivers who contend they are employees and entitled to reimbursement for expenses including gas and vehicle maintenance. The drivers currently pay those costs themselves.The cases have been closely followed because a determination that the workers are employees instead of contractors could affect the valuations for other startups that rely on large networks of individuals to provide rides, clean houses and other services.While the deal will involve some costs for Lyft, classifying drivers as employees would have been much more expensive and complicated, said Jan Dawson, chief analyst of Jackdaw Research.”It looks like Lyft got off fairly lightly here,” Dawson said.Shannon Liss-Riordan, an attorney for the drivers, acknowledged that the settlement does not achieve a reclassification of drivers as employees, but said the benefits are still significant.Unlike a separate lawsuit against Uber, which has been certified as a class action, Liss-Riordan said Lyft’s arbitration agreement with its drivers would have made it difficult for Lyft drivers to similarly sue as a group.Additionally, Liss-Riordan said her firm receives many more complaints from Uber drivers about issues with their pay, and about being deactivated from the platform.”We have not been hearing so many concerns from Lyft drivers, which leads us to believe that Lyft is treating its drivers with more respect than Uber is treating its drivers,” Liss-Riordan said.Uber representatives could not immediately be reached for comment. Uber is scheduled for a June trial in San Francisco on whether its drivers are employees or contractors.As part of the settlement, Lyft has agreed that it can only deactivate drivers for specific reasons, like low passenger ratings. Drivers will be given an opportunity to address those issues before they are deactivated, according to the court filing.Lyft also agreed to pay the arbitration expenses for any driver who wants to challenge their deactivation or disputes over compensation.Lyft general counsel Kristin Sverchek said the company is pleased to resolve the lawsuit on terms that “preserve the flexibility of drivers to control when, where, and for how long they drive on the platform”.U.S. District Judge Vince Chhabria would have to approve the deal. A hearing on preliminary approval is currently scheduled for February 18 in San Francisco.(Reporting by Dan Levine; Editing by Kenneth Maxwell and Miral Fahmy) Legal 3 min read Image credit: Lyft January 27, 2016 Reuters This story originally appeared on Reuters Lyft Gives California Drivers New Protections, But Won’t Classify Them as Employees Register Now » Free Webinar | July 31: Secrets to Running a Successful Family Business Next Article Add to Queue
Fireside Chat | July 25: Three Surprising Ways to Build Your Brand Internships for Adults Are on the Rise. Here’s What You Need to Know Careers This story originally appeared on CNBC An adult with years of experience would never consider an internship, right? Not necessarily. In fact, for people who have been out of the workforce for several years or who want to make a big career change, a returnship — the grown-up version of an internship — could be a second chance at success even if the paycheck is likely smaller than what workers are used to. “For people who are returning to work after a career break, participating in a formal returning professional internship program can be an excellent entree back into the workforce,” said Carol Fishman Cohen, CEO and co-founder of iRelaunch, a career resource website. While a returnship does not guarantee a job, it does provide marketable skills, experts said. They also offer mentorship, experience and a chance to learn about new industry trends and operations.”As our careers are extending, we’re going to need more nonlinear professional career paths, including opportunities to take breaks to look after children and elderly relatives,” said Julianne Miles, co-founder and director of professional network Women Returners. Many corporate giants are hopping on the trend. Companies such as Goldman Sachs, General Motors, Booz Allen Hamilton, Cummins and Credit Suisse also offer returnship programs.Create a returnship, if one doesn’t existAlthough not all companies have returnships listed online, that doesn’t mean they can’t create one through networking, experts said.”Keep in mind that a professional returning to work after a career break can suggest an internship or internship-like experience to an employer that does not have a formal program,” Cohen said. So how do you go about creating one? “Be specific on … what you would like to do while there, and also what skills you would like to work on during your time there,” said Stacey Delo, founder of Maybrooks, a career resource for moms. “Communicate this in your pitch. Try approaching smaller businesses.” Show how your returnship would benefit the company, other experts said. “Pose this paid re-entry role as a win-win for the organization,” said Amanda Augustine, career advice expert for Top Resume, a career service website. “The employer gets some much needed help from an experienced professional, oftentimes at a discounted rate, while you get to learn about the latest technologies and trends in your field and gain some valuable experience,” Augustine added. But be sure to consider all of your optionsOther career experts warned against pursuing a returnship too quickly, before considering other higher-paying options. The ideal candidate for a returnship is someone who has been out of the workforce for more than five years, not just a couple of years, said Allison O’Kelly, founder and CEO Corps Team, a staffing organization focused on experienced professionals seeking nontraditional careers. “The returnships — they’re not a guarantee of a job. So especially when you’ve been out three to five years, you’re still very marketable for job positions,” O’Kelly said. Returnships are usually full-time positions, O’Kelly added. This may be difficult for a person looking to transition more slowly into the workforce.”When considering a returnship, make sure you consider what your other options are,” O’Kelly said. “Is it that I want it to go back full-time? Do I want to get a full-time role, a part-time role?” Regardless of whether you decide to pursue a returnship, a part-time position or any other experience, O’Kelly said that the same rules of hard work and dedication apply. “You really want to get back in there, learn as much as you can, go above and beyond,” O’Kelly said. “Get involved in the company by going to activities, integrate yourself as an active team member.” Image credit: Shutterstock Learn from renowned serial entrepreneur David Meltzer how to find your frequency in order to stand out from your competitors and build a brand that is authentic, lasting and impactful. June 7, 2016 Add to Queue Enroll Now for $5 –shares Marguerite Ward Next Article 4 min read
Mozilla This story originally appeared on PCMag Add to Queue Learn how to successfully navigate family business dynamics and build businesses that excel. Next Article Free Webinar | July 31: Secrets to Running a Successful Family Business Good news for Mozilla: if Yahoo implodes — as in, if the company is eventually sold to someone that completely mucks up Yahoo’s strategies and vision — Mozilla still gets a pretty big payout. Or, at least, it could. According to Recode, the contract Mozilla made with Yahoo that makes Yahoo the default search engine in Firefox also comes with a great clause for Mozilla.In said contract — clause 9.1, specifically — the party that ultimately acquires Yahoo could end up paying Mozilla annual payments of $375 million until 2019. That’s because Mozilla has the right to determine whether the purchasing party is acceptable in the company’s eyes. If it isn’t, Mozilla can walk away from the Yahoo search deal and, if it so chooses, strike another deal with another company entirely. Yahoo would still be on the hook to pay Mozilla an annual revenue guarantee for, well, nothing. “Each of our search partnerships is the result of a competitive process reflective of the value that Firefox brings to the ecosystem. The Yahoo relationship is no different,” Mozilla told Recode.Of course, Mozilla could very well stick with its Yahoo deal and not walk away, assuming that Yahoo’s buyer — whoever it ends up being — is just as interested in search as Yahoo has been during CEO Marissa Mayer’s tenure.Mayer jumped into Yahoo’s CEO spot from Google, where she previously served as VP. As a result, some have wondered whether she has placed too much of an influence on search volume (and monetizing search).Final bids from interested companies are expected to arrive by July 18. Mozilla Could Cash Out Big If It Doesn’t Like Yahoo’s New Owner David Murphy Image credit: Juanmonino | Getty Images 2 min read –shares July 8, 2016 Register Now »
Topics analysis Clearly Hunt’s formula has not worked, and it now seems for practical purposes that Darroch, due to leave his post anyway this winter, is becoming a diminishing asset. Trump certainly has mood swings, and can decide to change his mind from one day to the next, but he is also thin-skinned, as Darroch testified in his leaked memos. And once the president takes against a perceived critic, the grudge can be irreversible.Nevertheless, there will be those in the Foreign Office who believe Darroch should not be punished for writing in private what most members of the White House staff would agree to be virtually a truism.They also regard the leak and the suspiciously coordinated attack on the neutrality of the civil service by Nigel Farage as a moment to dig in and defend the integrity of their profession. The populists’ long, destructive march through the institutions was never likely to stop at Whitehall, and now they know the wrecking ball has reached the Foreign Office.The mood in the department will turn on events in the next few weeks, providing an early test for a likely Johnson premiership on how he sees his relations with the civil service, with America and with the domestic Brexit movement.The immediate issue that arises for the outgoing prime minister, Theresa May, and the Foreign Office’s permanent undersecretary of state, Sir Simon McDonald, is whether Sir Kim Darroch, his relations with Trump irreparably damaged by the exposure of the unflattering telegrams, can realistically see out his expected tenure. Trump has expressed his displeasure, and would clearly like Darroch to pack his bags.But it is argued there are many branches to the Trump administration, as well as the near-seamless intelligence relationship, and if the doors to the White House are slammed shut in Darroch’s face, he can remain both an influencer and a valuable interlocutor for either London or Washington. It was claimed that many Republicans understand it is the task of an ambassador to send his version of the unvarnished truth.Some of the UK’s best ambassadors have not sympathised with the occupants of the White House. That did not stop them being acute observers of the scene. Darroch’s early departure might seem pragmatic, but it would also be a victory for the leakers, and reflect a misunderstanding of a diplomat’s role.The second, more important issue for the Foreign Office will be the choice that the new prime minister makes about Darroch’s successor, a decision that was always going to have to be made in the autumn.Tom Fletcher, a former UK ambassador to Lebanon who is close to the current diplomatic corps, reflected a determination to defend Darroch, tweeting: “Surely in UK and US interests interests to contain damage that leaker has done. Serious leaders know diplomats have duty to report candidly. For a president to personally attack an ambassador of an ally in this way is deplorable. Ambassador can’t defend himself, but ministers should.”A political appointment from outside the civil service in the current context might be seen as an admission that Farage is right, and that there is no one within the Foreign Office capable of being sufficiently enthusiastic about the possibilities of Brexit to seize the chance provided to build an even stronger relationship with Trump. … we have a small favour to ask. The Guardian will engage with the most critical issues of our time – from the escalating climate catastrophe to widespread inequality to the influence of big tech on our lives. At a time when factual information is a necessity, we believe that each of us, around the world, deserves access to accurate reporting with integrity at its heart.More people are reading and supporting The Guardian’s independent, investigative journalism than ever before. And unlike many news organisations, we have chosen an approach that allows us to keep our journalism accessible to all, regardless of where they live or what they can afford. But we need your ongoing support to keep working as we do.Our editorial independence means we set our own agenda and voice our own opinions. Guardian journalism is free from commercial and political bias and not influenced by billionaire owners or shareholders. This means we can give a voice to those less heard, explore where others turn away, and rigorously challenge those in power.We need your support to keep delivering quality journalism, to maintain our openness and to protect our precious independence. Every reader contribution, big or small, is so valuable. Support The Guardian from as little as $1 – and it only takes a minute. Thank you. Civil service 0:57 Shares7272 The future of Kim Darroch, right, could depend on decisions made by the likely next prime minister, Boris Johnson.Photograph: Rex/Shutterstock Share via Email Nigel Farage modestly ruled himself out as the next US ambassador, but suggested he could work as adviser to the UK government on intelligence, security and trade relations, a job description that would leave the role of the ambassador somewhat circumscribed.But Brexiters clearly feel that the civil service is awash with unreconciled Europhiles that have mounted a rearguard resistance to Brexit, so making the UK’s exit from the EU less of a triumph than it should have been. They point to the pro-European leanings of retired diplomats, the visceral essays by Sir Ivan Rogers, the former UK ambassador to the EU, and to the warnings issued by the civil servants responsible for no-deal Brexit planning.Yet as Lord Maude, the Conservative politician who has grappled most over the past decade with the issue of civil service neutrality, would often affirm, the best civil servant is one who challenges a minister, loses the argument, then carries out the minister’s instructions. The worst civil servant is the one who pretends to agree with a minister, then carries on with their own agenda regardless of the minister’s instructions. Challenge, or a commitment to analysis, does not equate to resistance. Yet it is not unprecedented for the post in Washington to be given to a political appointee. Lord Owen unceremoniously sacked Peter Ramsbotham in 1977, appointing in his place Peter Jay, a young financial journalist and son-in-law of the former prime minister James Callaghan. It was generally acknowledged afterwards to have been a mistake.Hunt also recently won an internal Foreign Office battle to open up more diplomatic posts to outsiders. Adverts for these posts have just been circulated, even if there was no expectation that major ambassadorships would be appointed outside the professional ranks. Share on Facebook Nigel Farage says UK ambassador should be sacked – video Share on Twitter Play Video But there will be deep resistance inside the Foreign Office to an outsider. The introduction of a Brexiter businessman, Nigel Farage’s proposition, would be an admission that the Foreign Office collectively cannot bend to its political masters’ bidding. It would be a humiliation, and a public statement of the new administration’s loss of trust in its advisers – a diplomatic Rolls Royce condemned as an untrustworthy banger.The Foreign Office would have reason to feel doubly aggrieved, since Brexit was largely taken out of its hands. If there have been difficulties in extricating the UK from Brussels or striking new trade deals, the recusants are more likely to lie in the Brexit and trade departments. Richard Moore, political director at the Foreign Office sinceApril 2018, probably spends half his time not on Brexit, but Iran.McDonald, no great enthusiast for Johnson’s time as foreign secretary, likely to leave his post soon after a tumultuous five years, will find many diplomats encouraging him to make a last stand in defence of the integrity of their profession. Those that claim Darroch has not made the best of the opportunities to get close to the Trump administration are really suggesting May should have adopted a different policy on climate change, Iran, Libya and multilateralism. As McDonald himself said, it has been striking how many times on big foreign policy questions May sided with the French rather than Uncle Sam. Support The Guardian Donald Trump: ‘We’re not big fans’ of UK ambassador to US – video Share on LinkedIn Civil service Read more Share on Facebook Play Video Mon 8 Jul 2019 15.43 EDT Liam Fox defends UK ambassador to US in row over leaked memos Share on Twitter Foreign policy The worst fears of Downing Street and the Foreign Office have been realised by the latest tweet from Donald Trump declaring that his administration will no longer deal with the British ambassador to Washington, Sir Kim Darroch.The reference to “we” in Trump’s tweet suggests the US president intends to send a missive to all the various agencies of government that contact with Sir Kim is being broken off until he leaves his post.Jeremy Hunt, the UK foreign secretary, had tried to de-escalate the crisis by saying the UK government did not agree with what Darroch had written about the chaos in the Trump administration, but he nevertheless defended his ambassador’s right to give his personal advice in private.It was a delicate balancing act of trying to preserve the special relationship, and at the same time the underlying requirement of the diplomatic profession to tell the truth privately. Reuse this content Share on Pinterest Patrick Wintour Diplomatic editor Trump administration Since you’re here… US politics Read more The latest major Trump resignations and firings First published on Mon 8 Jul 2019 06.55 EDT Share via Email Can Kim Darroch continue as ambassador to US after Trump leak? Share on WhatsApp The US president clearly wants him gone, but diplomats haven’t always seen eye to eye with the White House Share on Messenger 0:33
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(Editor)Jan 11 2019 A recent study out of Oregon suggests emergency medical responders — EMTs and paramedics — may be treating minority patients differently from the way they treat white patients.Specifically, the scientists found that black patients in their study were 40 percent less likely to get pain medication than their white peers.Jamie Kennel, head of emergency medical services programs at Oregon Health and Science University and the Oregon Institute of Technology, led the research, which was presented in December at the Institute for Healthcare Improvement Scientific Symposium in Orlando, Fla.The researchers received a grant to produce the internal report for the Oregon Emergency Medical Services department and the Oregon Office of Rural Health.Outright discrimination by paramedics is rare, the researchers say, and illegal; in these cases, unconscious bias may be at work.A few years ago, Leslie Gregory was one of a very few black female emergency medical technicians working in Lenawee County, Mich. She said the study’s findings ring true based on her experience.She remembered one particular call — the patient was down and in pain. As the EMTs arrived at the scene, Gregory could see the patient was black. And that’s when one of her colleagues groaned.“I think it was something like: ‘Oh, my God. Here we go again,’” Gregory said. She worried — then, as now — that because the patient was black, her colleague assumed he was acting out to get pain medication.“I am absolutely sure this was unconscious,” added Gregory, who now lives and works in Portland, Ore., where she founded a nonprofit to spread awareness about racial disparities in health care. “At the time, I remember, it increased my stress as we rode up on this person. Because I thought, ‘Now am I going to have to fight my colleague for more pain medication, should that arise?’”Leslie Gregory, a Portland physician assistant, asks, “How can a person of color not disrespect a system that is constantly studying and talking about these disparities, but does nothing to fix it?” She wants the CDC to declare the effects of racism a national health crisis.(Kristian Foden-Vencil/Oregon Public Broadcasting)Unconscious bias can be subtle — but, as this new report shows, it may be one of the factors behind race-linked health disparities seen across the U.S.The study looked at 104,000 medical charts of ambulance patients from 2015 to 2017. It found that minority patients were less likely to receive morphine and other pain medication compared with white patients — regardless of socioeconomic factors, such as health insurance status.During a shift change at American Medical Response headquarters in Portland, EMTs and paramedics discussed the issue with a reporter as they got their rigs ready for the next shift.Jennifer Sanders, who has been a paramedic for 30 years, was adamant that her work is not affected by race.“I’ve never treated anybody different — regardless,” said Sanders.Most of the emergency responders interviewed, including Jason Dahlke, said race doesn’t affect the treatment they give. But Dahlke also said he and some of his co-workers are thinking deeply about unconscious bias.“Historically it’s the way this country has been,” Dahlke said. “In the beginning, we had slavery and Jim Crow and redlining — and all of that stuff you can get lost in on a large, macro scale. Yeah. It’s there.”Paramedic Jason Dahlke says he can see how unconscious bias could slip into an emergency responder’s decisions and taint health care. He’s worked hard to be aware of it, in hopes of preventing those disparities in care.(Kristian Foden-Vencil/Oregon Public Broadcasting)Asked where he thinks unconscious bias could slip in, Dahlke talked about a patient he just treated.The man was black and around 60 years old. Dahlke is white and in his 30s. The patient has diabetes and called 911 from home, complaining of extreme pain in his hands and feet.When Dahlke arrived at the patient’s house, he followed standard procedure and gave the patient a blood glucose test. The results showed that the man’s blood sugar level was low.“So it’s my decision to treat this blood sugar first. Make sure that number comes up,” Dahlke said.He gave the patient glucose — but no pain medicine.Dahlke said he did not address the man’s pain in this case because by the time he had stabilized the patient they had arrived at the hospital — where it was the responsibility of the emergency department staff to take over.“When people are acutely sick or injured, pain medication is important,” Dahlke said. “But it’s not the first thing we’re going to worry about. We’re going to worry about life threats. You’re not necessarily going to die from pain, and we’re going to do what satisfies the need in the moment to get you into the ambulance and to the hospital and to a higher level of care.”Dahlke said he is not sure whether, if the patient had been white, he would have administered pain medicine, though he doesn’t think so.“Is it something that I think about when I come across a patient that does not look like me? I don’t know that it changes my treatment,” he saidAsked whether treatment disparities might sometimes be a result of white people being more likely to ask for more medications, Dahlke smiled.“I wonder that — if, in this study, if we’re talking about people of color being denied or not given narcotic medicines as much as white people, then maybe we’re overtreating white people with narcotic medicines.”Research has found African-Americans more likely to be deeply distrustful of the medical community, and that might play a role in diminished care, too. Such distrust is understandable and goes back generations, said Gregory.“How can a person of color not disrespect a system that is constantly studying and talking about these disparities, but does nothing to fix it?” she asked.Related StoriesStudy reveals long-term benefits of stress urinary incontinence surgeryIntermittent fasting may regulate blood glucose levels even without weight lossSleep quality and fatigue among women with premature ovarian insufficiencyGregory wrote an open letter to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in 2015, asking it to declare racism a threat to public health.Past declarations of crisis — such as those focusing attention on problems such as smoking or HIV — have had significant results, Gregory noted.But the CDC told Gregory, in its emailed response, that while it supports government policies to combat racial discrimination and acknowledges the role of racism in health disparities, “racism and racial discrimination in health is a societal issue as well as a public health one, and one that requires a broad-based societal strategy to effectively dismantle racism and its negative impacts in the U.S.”Kennel said false stereotypes about race-based differences in physiology that date to slavery also play a role in health care disparities. For example, despite a lack of any supporting science, some medical professionals still think the blood of African-Americans coagulates faster, Kennel said, citing a recent study of medical students at the University of Virginia.Another question in the survey asked the students whether they thought African-Americans have fewer pain receptors than whites. “An uncomfortably large percentage of medical students said, ‘Yes, that’s true,’” said Kennel.On top of that, he said, EMTs and paramedics often work in time-pressured situations, where they are limited to ambiguous clinical information and scarce resources. “In these situations, providers are much more likely to default to making decisions [based] on stereotypes,” he said.Disparities in health care are well-documented. Whites tend to get better care and experience better outcomes, whether they’re in a doctor’s office or the ER. But before Kennel’s study, nobody knew whether the same was true in the back of an ambulance.And they nearly didn’t get to know, because the research required ambulance companies to release highly sensitive data.“We were prepared to maybe not look that great,” said Robert McDonald, the operations manager at American Medical Response in Portland. AMR is one of the nation’s largest ambulance organizations, and it shared its data from more than 100,000 charts with Kennel.Some people chalk up the disparities he found to differences in demography and health insurance status, but Kennel said he controlled for those variables.So now that AMR knows about disparities in its care, what can the company do?“My feeling is we’re probably going to put some education and training out to our folks in the field,” McDonald said.In addition, he said, AMR is going to hire more people of color.“We want to see more ethnicities represented in EMS — which has historically been a white, male-dominated workforce,” McDonald said.AMR’s policies must change, too, he added. The company has purchased software that will enable patients to read medical permission forms in any of 17 different languages. And the firm is planning an outreach effort to communities of color to explain the role of EMS workers.This story is part of a partnership that includes Oregon Public Broadcasting, NPR and Kaiser Health News. This article was reprinted from khn.org with permission from the Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation. Kaiser Health News, an editorially independent news service, is a program of the Kaiser Family Foundation, a nonpartisan health care policy research organization unaffiliated with Kaiser Permanente.
Provided by Society for Risk Analysis Citation: Self-driving cars must reduce traffic fatalities by at least 75 percent to stay on the roads (2018, May 30) retrieved 18 July 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2018-05-self-driving-cars-traffic-fatalities-percent.html Credit: CC0 Public Domain Phone-using drivers knowingly ignore the danger More information: Peng Liu et al, How Safe Is Safe Enough for Self-Driving Vehicles?, Risk Analysis (2018). DOI: 10.1111/risa.13116 The race is on for companies to present their driverless cars to the public, but recent collisions involving autonomous vehicles developed by Uber Technologies Inc. and Tesla Inc. have led consumers to questions whether these vehicles can alleviate traffic issues and increase safety. A new study published in Risk Analysis examined the question “How safe is safe enough for self-driving vehicles (SDVs)?” Explore further To answer this question, researchers employed an expressed-preference approach—a method that has not previously been employed in this setting—to determine the socially acceptable risk of SDVs. The results showed that the public will not accept this new technology unless it is shown to be safer, approximately four to five times as safe as human-driven vehicles (HDVs). Despite the conveniences SDVs would bring to individuals, such as the ability to watch a movie, read a book, sleep or surf the internet, the public will be much less likely to accept, or even tolerate, SDVs if they have the same risk level as human driving. As suggested by previous studies, an individual increases his or her demand for safety when that safety is entrusted to an external factor, such as an automated vehicle.One of the major motivations behind the development of SDVs is to improve road safety. Human error is believed to cause 94 percent of all traffic crashes in the U.S., and 75 percent in the U.K. While SDVs have the potential to significantly reduce these types of crashes, they also introduce several new road risks, including accidents caused by cyber-attacks. Creating perfectly safe SDVs is both technologically and economically infeasible, but policies can require that the risk of having them on the road be as low as technically achievable.The study was conducted by Peng Liu and Run Yang, Tianjin University, and Zhigang Xu, of Chang’an University. The survey was distributed to a convenience sample of residents in Tianjin, China. Of the 499 respondents, half were randomly assigned to complete a version of the survey for HDVs, while the other half completed an SDV version. Risk frequencies were expressed as one fatality per a certain number of vehicle-kilometers traveled and as one fatality per a certain number of population, respectively. Respondents were asked to accept or reject each traffic risk scenario at one of four levels: never accept, hard to accept, easy to accept and fully accept.The results show that the respondents believe that SDVs should be four to five times as safe as HDVs. Current global traffic fatal risk is estimated at 17.4 per 100,000, which is 350 times greater than the frequency accepted by 50 percent of the respondents for SDVs. This implies that respondents expect SDVs to improve safety by two orders of magnitude against the current traffic risk.Based on the results, the researchers propose the following requirements for SDVs based on the tolerability of risk in industrial safety (a concept developed in the health and safety field) in which risks are distinguished by three criteria: unacceptable, tolerable and broadly acceptable. SDVs that are less safe than human drivers would be set as the unacceptable risk criterion. The tolerable risk is that SDVs be four to five times as safe, meaning they should be able to reduce 75-80 percent of current traffic fatalities. The broadly acceptable risk criterion for SDVs is set as two orders of magnitude lower than current global traffic risk, indicating a hundredfold improvement over current traffic risks, or the same order of magnitude experienced in public transportation modes, such as rail and commercial aviation.”Our results and method may help government authorities to establish clear safety requirements for regulating SDVs and also help SDV manufacturers find consumers’ expectations for SDVs that must be met,” states Liu, Ph.D., assistant professor of industrial engineering. Journal information: Risk Analysis This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only.
France wants to lead the way in making internet giants pay taxes on digital sales where they take place Paris says it is seeking “common ground” on the issue with fellow members of the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), a group of the world’s advanced economies.Low-tax nationsBritain, Spain and Italy are also working on national versions of a new digital tax, while Japan, Singapore and India are planning schemes of their own.France’s move to legislate comes after aggressive action from tax authorities to pursue the companies in the courts, with mixed results.Apple said last month it had reached an agreement to settle 10 years of back taxes, reportedly for nearly 500 million euros.In 2017, however, France’s tax collection drive suffered a setback with a local court ruling that Google was not liable to pay 1.1 billion euros in taxes claimed on revenues transferred from France to Ireland.Raphael Pradeau from the anti-globalisation Attac lobby group said the proposed French tax is “symbolic and does not solve the problem of massive fiscal evasion”.”It’s as if we accept that such firms can practice tax evasion in return for a few crumbs,” he said. Lawmakers worldwide have struggled over how to effectively tax internet giants President Emmanuel Macron came to power in 2017 promising to increase levies on global tech and internet groups, seeing their often minimal tax rates as part of a backlash in France and Europe against globalisation.Having failed to persuade his European partners to introduce an EU-wide tax—because of objections from low-tax jurisdictions such as Ireland and fears of provoking US President Donald Trump—France is to go it alone with its own new mechanism.Under a proposal set to be discussed by cabinet ministers and submitted to parliament, large companies operating in France would face a tax of three percent on their digital sales in the country.”The amount obtained from this three percent tax on digital gross sales in France from January 1, 2019 should soon reach 500 million euros ($566 million),” Economy Minister Bruno Le Maire told the French daily Le Parisien at the weekend.The new levy is known as the “GAFA tax” in France—an acronym for US giants Google, Apple, Facebook and Amazon—who have until now routed their sales in France through subsidiaries in low-tax EU members.In one of the most best known cases, the European Commission concluded that Apple had paid an effective corporate tax rate of just 0.005 percent on its European profits in 2014—equivalent to just 50 euros for every million.In 2016, it was ordered by the European Commission to pay 13 billion euros in back taxes to Ireland which were judged to amount to illegal state aid. France is set to unveil legislation Wednesday to increase taxes on global internet giants such as Google and Facebook, putting it among a vanguard of countries seeking to force the companies to pay more in the markets where they operate. Ireland, Denmark and Sweden have blocked EU efforts to devise a new tax for fear of detering investment, and Germany has proved lukewarm on the issue, fearing US retaliation against its car industry.Despite the failure to reach consensus at the European level, France is still hoping an agreement can be reached globally by 2020. Under EU law, internet giants can choose to report their income in any member state, prompting them to choose low-tax nations such as Ireland, the Netherlands or Luxembourg.Fiscal justiceUnder the draft legislation set to be presented by Le Maire on Wednesday, only digital companies with global annual sales of more than 750 million euros and sales in France of at least 25 million euros would be taxed.”If these two criteria are not met, the taxes will not be imposed,” Le Maire said.About 30 companies from the US, China, Germany, Spain and Britain as well as France would be affected, he said.For Le Maire, taxing the companies “is a question of fiscal justice” as “digital giants pay 14 percent less tax than small- and medium-sized European companies”. Citation: France unveils new tax for global internet giants (2019, March 6) retrieved 17 July 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2019-03-france-unveils-tax-global-internet.html © 2019 AFP French Economy Minister Bruno Le Maire says about 30 companies will be affected France tries to set trend with internet tax bill Explore further This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only.
Citation: Japan tests next-generation Shinkansen bullet train (2019, May 16) retrieved 17 July 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2019-05-japan-next-generation-shinkansen-bullet.html Bullet train champion in Japan will debut in 2030, now being tested © 2019 AFP Explore further A prototype of Japan’s next-generation Shinkansen bullet train, set to be the fastest train on wheels when it enters service, reached speeds of 320 kilometres (198 miles) per hour on a test run Thursday. The new train is set to be the world’s fastest on wheels The train, code-named ALFA-X, will eventually hit 360 kilometres per hour when it begins to take passengers in about a decade, according to East Japan Railway.Production of the 10-car train with a long nose-shaped head finished in early May at a cost of 10 billion yen ($91 million).Thursday’s trial run between Sendai and Morioka, two cities in northern Japan, was the first open to the media since tests started last week.”We successfully conducted the test run today and will continue testing the train for about three years,” a company spokesman said.The firm plans to introduce the train in 2030-31 when Shinkansen services will be extended to Sapporo, the biggest city on the nation’s northern island of Hokkaido.”We will try to shorten travelling time with the next-generation Shinkansen,” said Kazunori Koyama, an official in charge of the testing.Japan is a pioneer in high-speed rail networks, hailed for their punctuality and safety measures, including the emergency stop system, which can automatically slow down speeds before a major earthquake strikes.The ALFA-X will reach the world’s fastest commercial speed for a wheeled bullet train, according to the company. This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only.
India will contribute Rs 4,500 crore in Bhutan’s 12th five-year plan COMMENTS SHARE Prime Minister Narendra Modi with Bhutanese Prime Minister Lotay Tshering – AP Prime Minister Narendra Modi Friday announced a Rs 4,500 crore financial assistance to Bhutan for its 12th five-year plan after holding wide-ranging talks with his Bhutanese counterpart Lotay Tshering.In his media statement, Modi said hydro power cooperation with Bhutan is a key aspect of bilateral ties and that work on the Mangdechhu project will soon be completed.Tshering arrived here on Thursday on his first foreign visit after taking charge as PM of the Himalayan nation last month following his party’s victory in the general elections. Modi said he has assured the Bhutanese prime minister that India, as a trusted friend, will continue to play an important role in Bhutan’s development.India will contribute Rs 4,500 crore in Bhutan’s 12th five-year plan, Modi said.Tshering on his part noted that Prime Minister Modi was the first head of state to to congratulate him on his electoral victory. He also thanked India for its continued support to his country’s developmental needs.The new five-year plan of Bhutan began this year and will continue till 2022.Earlier in the day, Tshering was accorded a ceremonial welcome at the Rashtrapati Bhavan.External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj also called on the Bhutanese premier this morning.Swaraj congratulated Tshering on the assumption of the high office of Bhutan’s prime minister and the two leaders had a “warm exchange of views” on important aspects of the bilateral relationship, Ministry of External Affairs Spokesperson Raveesh Kumar said.Tshering also laid a wreath at Mahatma Gandhi’s ‘samadhi’ at Rajghat. RELATED Sushma Swaraj leaves SAARC foreign ministers meeting mid-way SHARE SHARE EMAIL Spiritual dimension of ‘Act East’ policy Published on COMMENT December 28, 2018 SAARC fund to soon launch social enterprise programme in India, 7 other member nations
COMMENTS Prime Minister Narendra Modi Monday spoke to Assam Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal and took stock of the flood situation in the State, where the deluge has claimed 11 lives and affected lakhs, officials said. During the telephonic conversation, the Chief Minister briefed the Prime Minister about the situation and informed him that 31 of the State’s 33 districts were hit by the current spell of floods. Modi assured Sonowal of all assistance from the Centre in dealing with the situation, an official said. On Saturday, the Chief Minister briefed Home Minister Amit Shah about the flood situation in Assam. Shah directed the National Disaster Response Force and other agencies to provide all help to the flood affected people. The flood situation in Assam worsened on Sunday with the death toll rising to 11 and nearly 26.5 lakh people affected.Barpeta is the worst-hit district with 7.35 lakh people facing the flood fury, followed by Morigaon where 3.50 lakh people are affected. In Dhubri district, 3.38 lakh people are affected, the Assam State Disaster Management Authority said. About 70 per cent of the Kaziranga National Park, the habitat of the Great Indian Rhino and a world heritage site, has been affected too. SHARE Published on July 15, 2019 0 Assam
Press Trust of India New DelhiJuly 12, 2019UPDATED: July 12, 2019 22:12 IST The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) had arrested him on May 3, 2018. (File photo)The Delhi High Court has granted bail to journalist Upendra Rai, arrested in a money laundering case related to alleged extortion and dubious financial transactions, noting that he has already spent more than 13 months in custody and the trial is likely to take some time.Justice Mukta Gupta granted the relief to Upendra Rai on furnishing a personal bond of Rs one lakh with a surety of like amount and directed him not to influence any witness or tamper with the evidence of the prosecution.The court also said he shall not leave the country without prior permission.Upendra Rai was arrested on June 8, 2018, by the Enforcement Directorate under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA) at the Tihar jail here, moments after he secured bail in a Central Bureau of Investigation case related to alleged extortion and dubious financial transactions.The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) had arrested him on May 3, 2018.The Enforcement Directorate opposed his bail plea saying that merely because bail has been granted to him in the two predicate offences investigated by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) could not be the sole criteria to grant him the relief in the money laundering case.A trial court had in January declined to grant him bail in the case.The high court said since Upendra Rai has already undergone more than one year of custody and there being no material placed on record to show that he has tampered evidence, it is a fit case of granting bail to him.”The maximum punishment provided for the offence punishable under Section 4 Prevention of Money Laundering (PMLA) being seasons years imprisonment and the petitioner has undergone more than 1 year 1 month of custody and the trial likely to take some time, there being no material placed on record to show that the petitioner has been tampering of evidence… this court finds it to be a fit case for grant of bail to the petitioner,” the judge said.During the previous hearing, the Delhi-based scribe’s counsel had alleged in the high court that investigating agencies, Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) and Enforcement Directorate (ED), were “playing with the liberty” of his client.The lawyer had said that the “vindictive approach” of the agencies was evident from the fact that he was being kept in custody even though his further interrogation was not required.Upendra Rai was arrested by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) for allegedly indulging in dubious financial transactions, getting an airport access pass made by the Bureau of Civil Aviation Security (BCAS) by furnishing false information, alleged extortion and manipulation of an Income Tax Department case against a Mumbai-based businessman.Upendra Rai has denied all the allegations levelled against him.ALSO READ | Upendra Rai case: CBI team visits I-T Dept in Mumbai, collects crucial dataALSO READ | Upendra Rai raids: CDRs of ED officer, ex-corporate affairs joint secy under probeALSO WATCH | Nirav Modi scam involving fraudulent LoUs a systemic issue, says Meera SanyalFor the latest World Cup news, live scores and fixtures for World Cup 2019, log on to indiatoday.in/sports. Like us on Facebook or follow us on Twitter for World Cup news, scores and updates.Get real-time alerts and all the news on your phone with the all-new India Today app. Download from Post your comment Do You Like This Story? Awesome! Now share the story Too bad. Tell us what you didn’t like in the comments Posted byShahrukh Tags :Follow Money launderingFollow CrimeFollow Delhi High CourtFollow Prevention of Money Laundering ActFollow CBIFollow Journalist HC grants bail to journalist Upendra Rai in money laundering caseThe Delhi High Court has granted bail to journalist Upendra Rai, arrested in a money laundering case related to alleged extortion and dubious financial transactions, noting that he has already spent more than 13 months in custody and the trial is likely to take some time.advertisement Next